The Rape of Recy Taylor
Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice.
The film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of black women and reveals Rosa Parks’ intimate role in Recy Taylor’s story. An attempted rape against Parks was but one inspiration for her ongoing work to find justice for countless women like Mrs. Taylor. The 1955 bus boycott was an end result, not a beginning.
More and more women are now speaking up after rape. The film tells the story of black women who spoke up when danger was greatest; it was their noble efforts to take back their bodies that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and movements that followed. The 2017 Global March by Women is linked to their courage. From sexual aggression on ‘40s southern streets to today’s college campuses and to the threatened right to choose, it is control of women’s bodies that powered the movement in Recy Taylor’s day and fuels our outrage today.
Mrs. Taylor’s case was an early catalyst for the civil rights movement and is an important and relevant story in not only African American history, but in U.S. history.
Interest in the film spiked after Oprah Winfrey invoked Mrs. Recy Taylor in her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at the 2018 Golden Globes. Following, many publications took note and researched Mrs. Taylor’s story. This resulted in numerous high profile outlets declaring Mrs. Taylor a “civil rights icon,” “icon” and a “pioneer” in Black history.
The film has screened at Venice Film Festival where it received the Special Prize for Human Rights Award (2017) and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2018 NAACP Image Awards. It will made it’s National Television Broadcast on STARZ July 2, 2018.
We are currently planning our strategic social impact campaign for The Rape of Recy Taylor. If you are interested in hosting a screening in your community/at your organization or if you are interested in partnering with us for this campaign please contact [email protected].